Monthly Budget Wrap-Up 5

January. February. March. April.

And May has already come and gone! This was really a banner month for us. One of those months that illustrated how much freedom being responsible with finances delivers.

May is the month in which Neil finds out if the company he works for has met their corporate goals, and what, if anything, the resulting annual bonus will be. As is recommended by pretty much any financial planner, we built our budget around what *is* instead of what might happen, so we hadn’t planned on the bonus, and weren’t depending on receiving it.

Not only that, but because we’ve been careful with where our money goes and have a good grasp on the state of all our accounts, the bonus (when it did come this year–hooray!) didn’t just disappear into paying off some of the balance on a credit account. We know exactly where it went, and feel really good about it!

I’m going to do the numbers a bit differently this month. By outlining exactly what our combination of variable spending and debt repayment is, it’s pretty easy to extrapolate what Neil’s bonus was. The bonuses are tied to salary and performance; I know some of his colleagues read, and sharing that information breaks a few confidentiality requirements he has.

What I can tell you is that by being prepared and on plan with our spending/debt repayment, and having a savings account set up with some ideas of acquiring Big Red, we were able to act on a great deal that came up for a car and pay off a large chunk of that consumer debt, moving our Debt-Free date up to July 31, instead of Sept. 30.

Looking back over the previous months, it becomes pretty obvious that it’s not just “spending less than $X per month” that is key to fiscal solvency (I started off thinking it was just that, with the initial $1000/month goal).

It’s the consistent visibility into the amounts going in and out, knowing what expenses might be coming up, having an emergency account set up for the unexpected things that always manage to sneak in anyhow, and of course after all the necessities have been paid for, ensuring what’s going out is less than what’s coming in (which, of course, starts with keeping records that give one visibility into the amounts going in and out, and cue Elton John “it’s the ciiiiiiiiirrrrrrrcle of liiiiiiiiife…”).

So, at the end of this month we owe $4908 on our line of credit. It will be paid off in 2 months. We acquired a car, and we realized we have just enough in our savings account to pay our property tax bill in July. And it feels really, really good!

I sortof feel like a bit of a smug arse, posting about how awesome we feel we are (and perhaps like I’m inviting a bit of a reality-check karma smackdown). But then, we put a lot of effort into getting ourselves into a good financial place.

It’s funny, because as much as people seem loathe to be really honest about financial trouble, it’s pretty obvious that people are much more comfortable saying “man, I owe so much on my credit card” rather than celebrating being responsible and being out of debt.

So, in the comments, celebrate! Are you being uber-successful with your budget? Are you getting out of debt or there already? Share how you’re doing it and how good it feels.

Be Sociable, Share!

6 thoughts on “Monthly Budget Wrap-Up 5

  1. heather

    my major success this year was not not using a credit card, but not using the credit card unless i already had the money to pay off the bill — in full — sitting in a bank account somewhere. a recent “surprise” car repair wasn’t as traumatic as it could have been because i knew that i wouldn’t have to pay a penny of interest while i tried to find a way to pay off mr. mastercard. it still hurt to withdraw that few hundred dollars from my ING account, but at least i had it to withdraw.

    that’s a HUGE improvement over where i was just a year ago. and it feels SO good.

    although, living within my meager food/entertainment budgeted amount is getting a little tiresome. i need to find a way to supplement that in the coming months. hey… anyone want to buy some photos? 😉

  2. Jennifer

    I’m so glad that things went so well this month and you totally should celebrate and bask in the wonderful feeling! Knowing how good you feel when things go right is just the kind of reinforcement that will cement these smart habits into a lifetime of financial security and freedom for your future! That’s how I feel whenever we review our financial progress (which we still do monthly). We had very little debt when we first met but I’ve always been someone who has a lot of money anxieties. So we started reading and learning about financial management, saving, planning, budgeting, etc. We started reviewing our finances on a monthly basis and try to celebrate our successes whenever they come up.

  3. Riann

    We just got home from a 5 week vacation that was budgeted and paid for in advance. I’m sure my friends got sick of my planning in the 2 years it took to save up for the thing, but it felt really good to come home and realize that we had an awesome time and there’s still money in the bank. In fact, we went under budget, so there will be an extra $2000 to slide into our down payment when we take possession in July. Yay!

    Riann’s last blog post..Crack!

  4. Jenn

    I absolutely have something to celebrate!! I took out a loan for a computer when I was 18 and never paid for it. Bad, I know. It was finally written off in August, only to be bought out by another bank in February, much to my chagrin. I made 3 payments of $200, like I said I would, and they offered to settle the final $1500 owing for $600!! I happened to have a bit more than that in my account even after 3 trips to Kelowna 3 months in a row, so I paid it off!! The $200 that I was paying each month to the loan can now go on my credit card, which will now be paid off in 2 months!

    The only debt left is my car payment, which I owe I believe $11,000 on. That should take me about 8 months to take care of once the credit card is paid off and I’ll be debt free! I’ll even have a savings account! My god, I love miss Gail Vaz Oxlade. What a smart lady!

Comments are closed.